Monday, June 30, 2014

Where do you stand on the “digital native” terminology?

What do you make of the divergent positions of Boyd, Prensky and Wesch? Where do you stand on the “digital native” terminology?

I find the "digital native" perspectives of  Boyd, Prensky and Wesch interesting. Boyd seems to believe  that just because today's teens are born into a digital age, it doesn't mean that they are necessarily born with technological skills. He explained that many teens may engage in technology by using media or social sites, however they don't have the natural knowledge of technology. The knowledge that they have is for connecting with others rather than truly navigating and understanding technological processes such as code. The tech skills that teens have are ones that are learned over time through demonstrations, research, and practice.It was additionally noted that more privileged teens are usually the ones to have more digital experiences. People can be born in a digital age, yet may not have native experiences or knowledge due to socioeconomic status, family, culture, etc.  Aside from discussing "digital natives," Boyd also acknowledged the fact  "digital immigrants" can become computer/tech literate through hard work.

Prenzky on the other hand thinks that students today think differently because of the technology that they have been exposed to and thus are "digital natives." He thinks this tern should be used because these students have  a digital vocabulary that is new to many adults. Prenzky's ideas differ from Boyd because he believes being born into the digital era makes a person a "digital native." Wesch also acknowledged the fact that technology has a vocabulary, process, and mind of its own. Unlike the others, Wesch did not identify his ideas of a "digital native" but the ideas included in his video demonstrated knowledge that is learned by people through instruction, self teaching, or playing around with technology. The interesting thing with Wesch is that he identified "us" as the machines, meaning we have the power and knowledge to learn.

After viewing these sources, I most agree with the ideas of Boyd. I understand Prenzky's thought behind the new vocabulary that today's students are exposed to but just because people are born into this new digital era doesn't mean they will automatically be a "digital native." To me a "digital native" is someone who is familiar with a variety of digital terms,knowledge and processes, beyond that of social media. Just because students can navigate FaceBook and Twitter, doesn't mean that they should be considered "digital natives."Employers want people who are knowledgeable with a variety of programs (Microsoft Office, Google Docs), apps, and networking sites. Saying someone is a "digital native" can make employers/professionals assume that the person is more technologically skilled than they really are. Overall, I believe if motivated and given the opportunity, most people can become "digital natives."

1 comment:

  1. great discussion, Melissa. you lay out the nuances between these texts so well...